The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

Who says a great movie has to include gratuitous sex scenes?

Who says a great movie has to ooze blood out of numerous pores?

Not me. Not anymore.

Kids, your treat has arrived. Adults, heck, you'll like it too. Disney, the company responsible for Pocococo the Brunette Bimbo and victim of the Hunchback of Hollywood has gotten off its high horse, mounted a Trojan Horse, and let fly with what they do best, wonderful, silly, relatively meaningless animated bliss.

Who put the Glad in Gladiator?


This summer, instead of trying to educate our nation's youth or dooming their dark souls, they've decided to simply entertain them, and the result is marvelous.

OK, the story is...well it's based rather loosely on the myth of Hercules, the greatest hero of Greek Lore. See the Hercules of the textbooks is the son of Zeus, a really powerful God with a thing for mortal babes, and Herc has incredible adventures and can do incredible things. You may of heard of his Twelve Labors, ranging from defeating evil monsters to programming the VCR. I mean this kid could do anything! Disney wisely decided to ignore all of that and pretty much create its own story.

Disney's Hercules is a God-child banished to the Mortal Realm who becomes a pawn in a plot of world domination by Hades, Ruler of the Underworld. Adventure ensues. There's the mentor character, the cute Pegasus character, the mandatory Disney babe character, and assorted townspeople. And some cool tunes. Disney magic, and Lord knows how much I admire and enjoy it when it's put to good use instead of used for evil, like in the making of that aforementioned Pocomojo Crap.

Again, and I stress this point for the avid nit-picker, this is not the classic tale you grew up reading about in school. For one thing, Pegasus was not Hercules' horse, he belonged to a different Greek hero. (I believe it was Perseus, but I'm not going on a limb with that one so if I'm wrong, deal with it.) Also, Hercules WAS the son of Zeus, but his mom was actually one of Zeus' mortal nocturnal endeavors, not the Goddess she is in this picture. You get the idea.

But who cares? The movie's more fun than watching midgets wrestle.

The voice talents (can't call them actors since it's all voice-over work done in about a day and a half) are excellent. Kudos especially to James Woods as Hades - Talent Agent to the Dead and to Susan Egan who is a wonderfully enchanting and inspired Meg, the female lead.

Let's talk girls for a second. Disney has often been known to create female leads in their cartoon classics who are big, doe-eyed vixens, looking for the right man. Then they created Esmerelda the Gypsy Stripper in Hunchback, a move that I approve of but which might not have been a step up as a role model to our youth.

Enter Meg. She's different. She's cool. She can do without men, thank you very much. She can take care of herself, thank you very much. And she's absolutely adorable, thank you very much. I want her.

Danny DeVito, Rip Torn, Charlton Heston and Paul Shaffer turn in fine performances, with Charlton's work being monumental, I mean they must have had him in the studio for all of 5 minutes. Man, it must be good to be the king.

The only true gripe one could have with this movie is that it is too topical. Let's be honest, will an Air Herc shoe line be funny in ten years? Who cares? Ask me in ten years, it's darned funny NOW.

So here ya go, want a flick that doesn't insult your intelligence yet you can still take your kid to? Want some good clean fun from a blockbuster to make you forget Batman and Rub-Me-Down or Speed 2: It's Not Just For Breakfast Anymore? Do yourself a favor and enjoy the pure fun of Hercules.

I did. And that's no lie.

Hercules gets 4 1/3 Babylons. Worth every penny, especially if you bring a kid who doesn't have to pay full price, then it's a total steal!

Makes me almost wish I had kids of my own to take to this.


Editor's Note:

Yes, the movie was good. But there was one thing we all could have done without - Michael Bolton's rendition of "Go The Distance" over the final credits. Actually, Michael Bolton's rendition of anything at anytime can probably be safely left out of anything at anytime and it would be a good thing. Mr. Self-Made would agree with me, except he's hoping to someday get a call from Mr. Bolton and be offered a chance to sing back-up on an album, so he can't publicly ridicule The Boltmiester.

But I can.

Rated: G
Directed By: John Musker and Ron Clements
Starring: Hercules, Meg, Hades, Zeus, Pain and Panic, and a bunch of other toons.

Join the Self-Made Critic Mailing List Back to The Shuttlecocks Homepage